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Mapleleaf Mussel


The main identifying feature of mapleleaf mussels are the nodules on the shell. No other mussel in Manitoba has them. The mapleleaf mussel was named due to similarity in shape to the maple leaf and dark ridges on the shell that can be compared to growth rings of a tree. They are usually brown to yellowish green in colour, with a light coloured inside shell. This species is considered a large mussel in Manitoba, measuring 12 cm across.


In Manitoba, mapleleaf mussels live in slow-moving rivers with clay or hard packed bottoms. Being a filter feeder, water quality is important to its success. When invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussel are present, mapleleaf mussel numbers tend to decline.

Did You Know?

The mapleleaf mussel is a long-lived species of up to 64 years. Before the mussel gets to maturity, the larva must find a host fish (in Manitoba usually channel catfish) to attach itself to feed off its nutrients.